The older I become, the more I realize there is no wealth greater than the wealth of our own eternal spirit. All forms come and go. Material wealth comes and goes. Bank accounts come and go. Nations and empires come and go. Our own bodies come and go. Perhaps this planet itself will finish its useful life at some point.
But the timeless spirit that I am and you are does not come and go.
Here are some steps that I find can lead to a greater experience of the wealth of our own timeless nature that is the very source of freedom and happiness.
1. Be quick to change your mind
I had an interesting experience not so long ago. It concerned a person who lives in the same neighborhood in which JoAnn and I live. I had decided, for various reasons, that I did not connect with this person very well, and so I did my best to just ignore him.
What does Dr. Phil say? “How’s that working for you?” Well, my attitude in this situation wasn’t working for me at all. It was like life wasn't comfortable with my decision.
Every time I saw this person and felt the impulse to try to ignore him, I felt uncomfortable. Suddenly a light went on in my mind. "Why don't I change my mind about this person and see them in a new light?" In that very moment it was done. I saw my neighbor with eyes not of separation but of love. Now I don’t worry when I see this person. I just feel happy.
Isn't this an example of wealth building? I think it is.
2. Listen to your body and respect its rhythms
This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. I like to go ahead no matter what when there is something I need to do or want to do. Perhaps it’s a benefit of aging. I am learning to listen to my body at last, and hear what it is trying to tell me.
For example, for the last few days I have wanted to write a new post. But for whatever reason, my body, my mind, and my heart just didn’t feel up to it.
At last, an hour or so ago, I felt a shift. “OK, let’s give it a try,” my body said to me. So here I am. Doing my best to keep this blog moving forward and to give my gift.
Sometimes we are inclined to ignore our body’s cries for help, or consideration, or kindness. But I say with a lot of experience there is no wiser decision we can make at any age but to listen to our body and treat it with respect.
3. Listen to your loved one and be willing to change
This is a big one. I hope I don't get into trouble for this, but I'm going to use my wife, JoAnn, as an example here.
What greater wealth could there be than a truly happy, compassionate relationship where two people care for each other, love each other, and trust each other to do the right thing?
JoAnn and I celebrate the 17th anniversary of our first meeting on July 4 and one of the most important lessons we have learned in our journey is surely this: “Listen to each other and be willing to change.” I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve needed to change my behavior or attitude with respect to JoAnn . But I think I can honestly say I’ve learned to enjoy the process – and she has too.
For example, a big change JoAnn had to make early on in our union was this. As she put it, “I had to accept the fact you’re a poet.” I’m a dreamer. I don’t think the same way JoAnn thinks. But I checked with her a few minutes ago and she agreed that I have changed. I’m still a poet -- but definitely more practical and down to earth than when I first met her.
"One step at a time"
How thankful I am for JoAnn’s practical, down to earth approach to life. I’d say we complement one another pretty well. Her simple mantra, “One step at a time,” is engraved in my mind. We’ve had a lot to learn in our journey and I'm sure we are still learning. But being willing to listen to each other – and change – definitely works and I highly recommend it. I hope these thoughts are a help and I’d love to hear your own thoughts on any of the above.
I have two more things I want to touch on. Sometime soon I would like to add a little affiliate marketing to my blog if I can come up with a suitable, minimalist approach. Any suggestions or comments on this idea much appreciated. If I can come up with products that I feel good about and are interesting and helpful, perhaps we can create a win-win situation here?
Also, if you are looking for a charming story that teaches valuable lessons about how to overcome adversity and follow your dream please check out my book, The Raven Who Spoke with God. It's available in Kindle format at Amazon at $2.99. Goodbye and God bless.
Picture credit: Isaac Aaron